MBP alternative

Hello all,

I'm looking for a pretty specific type of laptop, and unfortunately laptops don't have the same degree of customization available to them as when you are building a desktop or even micro-atx small form factor system.

Let me also say that I'm a software developer, and I do not hate apple. In fact, I'd love to try out OSX just based off of most of my windows experience but I'll probably be ok with running Windows 7 and maybe Ubuntu through a VM.

On to specifics, the laptop I am looking for would fit the following description:

Fairly sleek/thin design,
~1000$ price range +- 200$
15" 1080p display,
either 2 2.5" hdd bays or a known good 3rd party ssd/hdd catty Optical drive replacement
doesn't need an optical drive ,
{intel i5 second generation processor,
discrete graphics card that runs pretty cool}
{AMD A8 APU with no discrete card unless it generates amazingly low heat/power usage}
4-6gb RAM
2-4 USB ports
HDMI output
DisplayPort optional
wireless 802.11b/g/n card
at least 5 hours battery life at low load (browsing),
decent speakers are a +,
Color preference is black,

It's been pretty tricky finding something that meets these requirements, especially the 2 hard drive configuration. I havn't spent a lot of time looking up 3rd party solutions for converting optical into a ssd/hdd and do not know the difficulty of trying to do something like that myself. I'm fairly tech-savvy so having to take apart this machine wouldn't be a huge issue for me.

Thanks for the help TH community!
3 answers Last reply
More about alternative
  1. Also, to elaborate on the post title, I would kind of like a 15" MBP with a few extras and an optical bay conversion but I'm not really willing to shell out that much extra cash for the trendiness factor.

    If I can find a good deal on craigslist in the next year that could be the way I'll go.

    As for use case, I'd like to use the laptop as a portable HTPC, for LAN parties, and maybe do some work on it as well. I'm not too picky on brand if it is a well made product.

    I live in NW USA
  2. Sager NP5165
  3. Envy 14" there's a bunch of coupons floating about that take off about $150-400.
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